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Greetings From Gail

March 13, 2015

I wanted to provide you with some more information about the new SBAC assessments that will be given soon to students in grades 3-6 at our school. Here are some of the ways the new SBAC differs from the NECAP that we previously used as the state assessment.

  • Students will use a computer to take the test.
  • The test is computer adaptive. (see the explanation below**)
  • The new Common Core standards are more rigorous and in depth, which has lead to more complex, and lengthier test questions. Many responses require multiple steps that include writing, problem solving and providing evidence from the text or problem.
  • Some of the questions require students to be able to organize, analyze, describe, defend, conclude, argue, evaluate information presented in charts, graphs, and informational text.
  • The SBAC is given in the spring. The NECAP was given in the fall.
  • Individual student results will be available for teachers shortly after students complete the test.

**Computer Adaptive Testing: The Smarter Balanced assessment system will capitalize on the precision and efficiency of computer adaptive testing (CAT) for both the summative assessment and the optional interim assessments.

Based on student responses, the computerized assessment delivery program adjusts the difficulty of questions throughout the assessment. For example, a student who answers a question correctly will receive a more challenging item, while an incorrect answer generates an easier question. By adapting to the student as the assessment is taking place, these assessments present an individually tailored set of questions to each student and can quickly identify which skills students have mastered. This approach represents a significant improvement over traditional paper-and-pencil assessments, providing more accurate scores for all students across the full range of the achievement continuum (This information was provided on the Vermont Agency of Education) 

We have been informed that we are likely to see a decline in student performance results in Vermont and across the country the first two to four years of implementation as students and educators adjust to the new test form and rigor.

March 13, 2015 Newsletter